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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

An Already Working Job Solution, That Needs To Be Applied Nationally

      It seems everytime you access a news source anymore the issue is jobs.  There are solutions.  In fact this solution was sent to President Obama immediately after he took office.  It is something that is already working and simply needs to be implemented nationwide.  If the President truly cared, all it would take is a signature.  Most of expenditure would be done by private enterprise. It would create hundreds of thousands of jobs.  What is it?  Simply converting many of the trucks moving across country to tandem operations.  What is a tandem truck?  See the picture above.  The arguments I got did not listen to what I was saying at all.  How would this create jobs?  It would do it several ways.  Much of the equipment moving up and down the highways today can easily be adapted.  This would create jobs.  However before I get into the jobs issue let me cover the benefits of going to this system.  First it would reduce the number of trucks running up and down America's highways.  Second it would slow the wear and tear on the infrastructure nationwide. Thirdly and most important from my perspective is that it would save millions of gallons of fuel.  This would reduce our dependence on foreign fuel.  Moving us toward energy independence.  Many people I talk to who only drive cars are intimidated by the size ot the trucks.  That really should not be a problem.  It is mostly psychological.  Having driven trucks most of my life I can argue against that idea. 
     At present the Department of Transportation allows a maximum overall vehicle weight of 80,000 pounds for a single trailer unit.  The states that already allow it to be used allow a gross vehicle weight in the area of 140,000 pounds.  My goal would be to create to unique classes of vehicles.  The Eagle Class that would pull two trailers, but yet stay under 80,000 pound limit.  There are many loads that meet that criteria.   These are what I call high volume low density freight which is what I specialized in hauling to survive my last years of trucking over the road.  The freight rates are higher as these are high dollar items like furniture, appliances, electronics and many other items.  While a desk or fridge might seem heavy to the individual, but you can not put that many into a trailer and when fully loaded they might be in the 9,000 to 12,000 pound range.  A vehicle hauling two completely loaded trailers would be under 60,000 pounds gross weight.  The single tractor on a cross country run would save about 323 gallons a trip.  This would equal a yearly savings of around 16,798 gallons.  This could heat as many as 28 homes just on the savings of one truck.   The other class of trucks would be the Condor Class, they would haul the loads that exceed the 80,000 limit but still meet the per axle requirement as esstablished by the DOT.   Several states already allow the tandem system to be used. New York on their turnpikes, Montana and Oregon to name a few that I have actually seen the longer tandem trailers.  Many states allow the twenty-eight and thirty foot trailers.  This system in the states mentioned allow tandem forty-eight foot trailers.  My goal would allow the Eagle Class to haul tandem fifty-three foot trailers.
     My goal here is not to get bogged down in the descriptions, but to show how it would create jobs instantly.  The technology already exists and it works.  My correspondence with the director of Wal-Marts transportation division verified to me that it does save them energy and they do use it everywhere they are able to use it.  It saves energy which helps them cut costs.   So it is not my pie in the sky idea.  It is a system that has already been proven to work.  Well how does it create jobs.  Vehicles that already exist can be adapted to work with the system.  Each system requires a tandem axle system that fits under the rear trailer and connects it to the front trailer.  Thousands and thousand of these would have to built requiring tons of steel, thousands of tires and many specialized couplings and hardware.  Also at certain places all across the country special parking areas would have to be built to assemble and breakdown the units where they get on and off the interstate.  The tandems are an interstate only arrangement and they are not feasible on secondary roads.  It would not eliminate trucking jobs either.  It would require a skill level increase and drivers would have to be licensed to pull the units.  The real benefit of these units would be long haul and cross country runs.  Therefore to get maximum benefit they would require team drivers to keep them moving. 
     It would not happen over night but the jobs to get it started would be immediate.  If you count in all the suppliers, manufacturers and construction workers anyone can see that it would create hundreds of thousands of jobs.  Supposedly there are over eight million trucks on America's highways.  This system could realistically cut that number by over a million.  If more of the small straight trucks pulled more trailers this would create savings also.  The energy savings would be in the millions of barrels.  This is not the only way America could save energy.  I plan to post several other energy saving ideas.  Some of it would require government involvement , but most would be generated and done by private industry, what they need is a change to the rules so they can implement it.

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